Collection Management Plan: Key principles


The Collection Management Plan is produced by the University Library to describe and communicate its goals with respect to collections. It provides a general framework for the selection and acquisition of information resources, as well as storage, availability and retention.

The University Librarian is responsible for the management of the Library and maintains an overview of collection management and emerging developments. The more detailed work of collection development and management is carried out by Library Managers and specialist library staff.

Top of page

Mission statement

The University Library is committed to providing quality library and information services to support and enhance the teaching, learning, research, scholarship and creative work of the University.

Top of page

Key principles

  • Library resources are provided to support the University’s current and anticipated research, teaching and learning needs.
  • Library resources are provided in appropriate formats.
  • Selection decisions are made by Library staff in accordance with the Criteria for selection.
  • Lower use material may be removed from open shelves and stored either on or off-site.
  • The Library may dispose of or cancel access to material which is no longer relevant to teaching or research, or of value to the University.
  • Special collections of significance are developed and preserved.

Top of page

History of the collections

See Brief history of the collections.

Top of page


The primary users of the Library are the staff and students of The University. Membership is open to others: see Library Membership and Conditions of Access. Researchers wishing to use the special collections are welcome to do so. Other members of the public may visit the Library and access the physical collections on a discretionary basis.

Top of page

Gifts and donations

The Library is pleased to receive monetary donations and gifts of material that fall within the collection priorities. Potential gifts should be discussed with the relevant library manager and any conditions that a donor or the Library wishes to apply should be clarified before receipt of the material. The donation of archives, manuscripts or special collections in any format should be directed to the Special Collections Librarian for initial appraisal, and the acceptance of significant donations requires the approval of the University Librarian.

Top of page


The University of Auckland Library / Te Tumu Herenga has in its possession Māori manuscripts and other heritage items, collected through donation or purchase, that are taonga, treasures: unique or original works created by or relating to Māori. The Library is kaitiaki, custodian, of these taonga on behalf of their creators.

The Library recognises that, for Māori, intellectual property resides with the individual creators of taonga, while cultural property resides with whānau, hapū and iwi from whom the creators’ knowledge base originates. Each taonga is imbued with the mauri, the living spirit, of the group of people who created it, and these taonga represent a tangible link with tūpuna, the ancestors.

The Library undertakes its kaitiaki role alongside legal, professional and intellectual property conventions. Regardless of whether the Library is the legal owner of taonga, as kaitiaki the Library, with Te Kaiwhakahaere Māori in consultation with the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Māori), should consult the individual, whānau, hapū or iwi, and reach agreement on the management and care of taonga held in the University’s collection, to ensure that their cultural integrity is maintained for future generations.

In regard to digitisation of taonga, or transfer to copies in other formats designed to increase dissemination of the knowledge contained within these taonga, the Library will follow the principles outlined in this plan.

The following documents informed the creation of this statement, which was updated by former staff member, Anahera Morehu, Te Kaiwhakahaere Māori: He awe mapara (Auckland City Libraries, internal document); Recommended principles for the care and preservation of Māori materials (Alexander Turnbull Library, internal document); Proceedings: first international indigenous librarians' forum (Auckland: Te Rōpū Whakahau, 2001); He Kaupapa Mahi: Māori Guidelines at the University of Auckland Library, Te Tumu Herenga.

Top of page

Collecting levels

The following terms are taken from Conspectus, a North American collection management tool, and may be used to describe the subject level collections.

Comprehensive: Extensive collections of published materials, extensive MSS collections, and very extensive collections in all other formats.

Research: Collections that contain the major published source material required for doctoral study and independent research.

Study: Collections that provide information about a subject in a systematic way - supports the needs of general library users at an undergraduate level.

Basic: Collections that introduce and define a subject.

Minimal: Collections that support minimal inquiries about the subject.

Top of page

Collection priorities

The Library’s priority is to provide material that supports teaching, learning and research. Other material may be acquired if it is considered appropriate for the general interest of users and is within the scope of the collection. Recommendations for new resources from members of the University are welcomed although purchase cannot be guaranteed. Duplication is minimised except where this is warranted because of demand or libraries’ overlapping subject responsibilities. Duplication also may occur between print and electronic material.

Top of page